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Turkish meatballs recipe

Turkish meatballs recipe

47 ratings

See method

  • Serves 4
  • 30 mins to prepare and 1 hr 30 mins to cook
  • 496 calories / serving


  • 500g (1lb) lamb mince
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 x 30g pack fresh dill, most of it chopped
  • 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 2 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 x 400g tin chickpeas
  • handful toasted pine nuts, to scatter over the top
  • Greek-style yogurt, to serve
If you don't have chopped tomatoes, chop up a tin of plum tomatoes instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    29g 41%
  • Saturates

    9g 46%
  • Sugars

    13g 15%
  • Salt

    0.8g 14%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 27.5g Protein 35.6g Fibre 8.6g


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C. Put the lamb and egg into a large bowl, and add half the onions, spices, garlic and chopped dill. Season. Using your hands, mix well.
  2. Shape the mixture into 16 satsuma-sized balls. Heat a wide casserole dish, add the meatballs and cook for 10 minutes until golden. Set aside, leaving the fat and juices in the pan.
  3. Add the oil to the pan and cook the remaining onion and garlic for 5 minutes until softened. Tip in the remaining spices, fry for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, honey and the rest of the chopped dill and season generously. Return the meatballs to the pan, loosely cover, and cook in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes until the sauce is thick and rich. When there is 15 minutes cooking time left, stir the chickpeas into the sauce.
  4. Season to taste, then scatter with the pine nuts and remaining dill fronds. Serve with spoonfuls of Greek-style yogurt and warmed pitta bread.

Make it in a slow cooker Brown the meatballs in a frying pan. Add the fat and juices to a slow cooker and the remaining ingredients from step 3, using a 400g and a 200g tin of tomatoes instead of an 800g tin. Pop in the meatballs, then cook on Low for 6 hours, adding the chickpeas when there is 1 hour of cooking time remaining. If the sauce seems to have reduced in quantity, simply stir in a splash of water.

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

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